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First Iftar party in Calcutta University’s history

Kolkata: For the first time in Calcutta University’s 159-year old history an Iftar party sponsored by former students of the University’s Department of Arabic and Persian was held recently in which the participants, amongst others, were the University Vice Chancellor Prof. Sogata Mrijeet, Registrar Somana Bannerji, Pro-VC, West Bengal’s minister Maulana Siddiqullah Chaudhary, Rajya Sabha M P and editor of Bengali daily Qalam, Ahmad Hasan Imran etc. This first-time Iftar party was welcomed not only by the University campus but also by Bengal’s circle of intellectuals. Though on some earlier occasions also efforts were made to hold Iftar parties in the University campus but because of opposition by University administration, such functions could not be held. Except one religious function i.e. Saraswati Pooja, no other religious function is held in the University campus. University’s Registrar (Ms) Somana Bannerji who is a linguist and knows seven languages including Urdu, Arabic and Persian while describing the Iftar party as a symbol of unity and mutual brotherhood, said that Roza brings humanity nearer to each other and provides an opportunity of knowing their problems and difficulties. She said that for the first time it (Iftar party) has been arranged in the University but this process will continue. Vice Chancellor Prof. Sogata Mrijeet, while describing Ramadan fasts as a symbol of sacrifice and brotherhood, said that former students of this University’s Department of Arabic and Persian have arranged this party which they welcomed. He also said that in addition to promoting sacrifice and brotherhood, Roza also symbolizes expression of equality with downtrodden sections of society. Hence there is no harm in arranging such parties and functions. He said that this is a good initiative and whereas one aspect of Roza Iftar is religious, its other aspect is social. He too said that this process will continue. He said that in order to further promote this Department the University administration has decided to change Arabic and Persian into two separate departments and M. Phil and Ph D degrees will be obtained from here.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2016 on page no. 14

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